Schemes for MSMEs in Budget to help boost exports: AEPC

Various schemes, including a revamped credit guarantee scheme, announced in the Budget to support MSMEs and exporters will help promote the country’s exports, AEPC said on Thursday. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her Budget speech said a revamped credit guarantee scheme for MSMEs with an outlay of Rs 9,000 crore will be launched from April 1.

Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC) Chairman Naren Goenka said that the focus on infrastructure, investment, green growth, youth power and inclusive development will boost India’s journey to be the fastest-growing robust economy.

“The announcement to cover more sectors under the PLI scheme and support to the MSME sector will help thrust exports and investment in the country. Rs 9,000-crore corpus for a revamped credit guarantee scheme will surely alleviate the stress of small and medium enterprises in India,” he said.

As desired by exporters, the increased allocation for the interest equalization (subsidy) scheme from Rs 2,376 crore in 2022-23 to Rs 2,932 crore in 2023-24, which is up by 23 per cent, will help support exports, he said.
“The increased allocation of Amended Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme (ATUFS) from Rs 650 crore in 2022-23 to Rs 900 crore in 2023-24 which is an increase of 38 per cent will help in release of payment of pending cases faster,” he added.

To enhance the productivity of extra-long staple cotton, he said, the government will adopt a cluster-based and value chain approach through Public Private Partnerships (PPP) and it is a welcome move.

“This will facilitate collaboration between farmers, state and industry for input supplies, extension services, and market linkages. In the long run it will be helping the garment industry provide raw material security,” he added.The finance minister said the credit guarantee scheme “will enable additional collateral-free guaranteed credit of Rs 2 lakh crore. Further, the cost of the credit will be reduced by about 1 per cent”.

She said in cases of failure by MSMEs to execute contracts during the COVID period, 95 per cent of the forfeited amount relating to bid or performance security, will be returned to them by government and government undertakings.

Describing MSMEs as growth engines of the economy, the finance minister said micro enterprises with turnover of up to Rs 2 crore and certain professionals with turnover of up to Rs 50 lakh can avail the benefit of presumptive taxation.

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